On January 6th the 114th Congress of the United States will be sworn in, and it is not only mostly Republican, it is mostly Christian. This is interesting considering that it does not reflect accurately the diversity of religions and beliefs of the general population. If our congress men and women are supposed to be representative of their constituents I see a discrepancy here.
Normally you would think, with the separation of church and state, that this information would be irrelevant. However in recent years our leaders have defaulted in their decision making to their own personal beliefs, particularly religious and moral beliefs. Again, you would think this is not in their job descriptions! But, as we know, someone or something doesn’t have power unless you give it power and right now at least in America we’ve taken particular note of a person’s religion or personal belief system. This information is no longer personal or private or even just irrelevant, it is maybe the most important thing that we are judging people on.
It has caused a lot of tension to say the least. In a country founded on freedom, in particular of religion, when we start to include religion in our calculations we are getting away from what our founding fathers intended – and intended for very good reasons. It doesn’t work and they knew it! They tried to construct a constitution for our government in which all belief systems could participate without persecution. But persecution (at least verbally and with our choices) is all I ever see any more.
Having this slant to our 114th United States Congress is scary to me. A government made up of one aspect no matter what it is – age, race, gender, personal beliefs, is a scary thing to the general public because there is no way that it can properly represent and carry out the best interest of the country. Through this type of homogenization we lose creativity and flexibility. We also lose the ability to see issues and topics objectively. It is scary to me that it is so slanted, and it is scary to me to think that only the Republican Christian agenda will be pursued when the country is founded on and made up of a much more diverse population.
I think this emphasis on religion may be one side-effect of people starting to wake up and take notice that spirituality and beliefs are very important. Spirituality in whatever form you like, is a cornerstone of a well rounded human being. More and more people are waking up and perusing growth in their own spirituality. And it is only human that when we suddenly become aware of something in ourselves, we see it in others as well. You can see clearly this in small children. A little girl will notice that she has on a shirt and then suddenly realize the boy next to her has on a shirt. “My shirt is red.” the little girl will say, “My shirt is blue.” the little boy will reply. We have a tendency to see the differences first. AND we have a tendency to think that ours is better. (As CHILDREN.)
As this evolution of spirit proceeds I hope that we can go beyond this first impression of awakening to the importance of our own spirituality and see the beauty and value in our differences. I hope we can put down feeling threatened by our differences and pick up genuine curiosity and a want to reach out and learn about each other.